'Reasonable grounds' that war crimes committed in Libya, ICC prosecutor says
The U.N.'s special envoy to Libya says both sides told him that they were ready for a cease-fire.
May 4th, 2011
10:23 AM ET

'Reasonable grounds' that war crimes committed in Libya, ICC prosecutor says

The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court said in a report Wednesday there are "reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed and continue being committed in Libya."

The report identified the alleged commission of rape by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's government, as well as the deportation or forcible transfer of citizens during the civil war that continues to rage in that country.

It also noted war crimes, including intentionally directing attacks against civilians not participating in the fighting.

"It is indeed a characteristic of the situation in Libya that massive crimes are reportedly committed upon instruction of a few persons who control the organizations that execute the orders," the report said. "Arresting those who ordered the commission of crimes, should the Judges decide to issue warrants, will contribute to the protection of civilians in Libya."

The Office of the Prosecutor will submit its first application for arrest warrants in the coming weeks.

In March, shortly after the International Criminal Court was asked to investigate the issue, a court spokeswoman said Gadhafi would probably face serious charges.

But the prosecutor did not name the people against whom he had evidence.

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Filed under: Libya
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. bobcat2u

    All sides invovled are going to be treated the same, right ??????????? The rebels and our forces have been just as guilty of killing innocents as Ghadafis forces. Shouldn't be a double standard here.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • SpottedCat

      If they commit the same acts they should be. But there's a world of difference between Isolated Incidents / Civilian Wartime casualties, and indiscriminate shelling without concern for said civilian casualties.

      Playing Devil's Advocate against my own statement though, reports haven't exactly been 'untarnished' on either side though.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      War crimes is not defined as causing civilian casualties.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • T O'Connell

      Well You're correct from the point of veiw that if any innocents were killed durring combat. However, if you look at it from intention, then pro government forces targeting of civilians would be war crimes.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @ SpottedCat , Tom , & T O'Connell
      All I'm saying is, Our mandate was to protect the civilians from Ghadafis air forces, Not regime change. So we've taken it on ourselves to make our own rules as we go along. Remember Ghadafis grandchildren being killed just because we went after him ? So how does that make it any diffirent ?

      May 4, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      Beautifully put,bobcat2u. Never mind all these uneducated lemmings who disagree with you. I guess that they believe in a double standard and then again,so do the right-wing thugs in Washington,D.C.!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Dumb question. The big difference with our forces is that we are not targeting civilians, we are targeting military targets.

      May 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • d.e.

      Of course there should be more charges against the rebels then the Government! Moammar is using his military whereas the rebels are recruiting child soldiers and using pirated weapons to fight off the legitimate military. The rebels had plenty of original support, but quite honestly each and every rebel is guilty of some form of war-crime.

      May 5, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chiltepin

    Ghaddafi's forces have intentionally targeting their own civilians.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Riff*Raff

    Are we going back to having "rules" during war? Just regular wars or war on Terror too? Isnt it time we became civilized people with laws again? Without religion clouding everything?

    May 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      Thanks for saying it Riff*Raff

      May 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat2u

    Everyone keeps saying he is targeting his own civilians, yet in the same breath they say the Rebels Are the civilians.
    What exactly am I missing ?

    May 4, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • SpottedCat

      Oh the Rebels, nor any international combatants are by any means civilians. Both Ghaddafi and the rebels are in proximity to civilians. The distinction line gets drawn at the precision of combat. Accidental deaths and collateral damage happen. From what (granted, biased) reports are stating, Ghaddafi is using more indiscriminate cluster munitions when attacking near these civilian centers. That's akin to using white phosphorous, WAY beyond the line of taking acceptable measures to avoid civilian casualties.

      It's all a matter purely of how much care is taken to limit (not eliminate, which is unrealistic) these casualties.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @SpottedCat
      Rebels are dressed same as civilian . How do you differentuate ??

      May 4, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • SpottedCat

      THAT, in a warfare scenereo such as this is hard. In close quarters combat, it's nearly impossible given that the rebels are dressed in civvies (granted often carrying firearms).

      The point a lot of people are trying to make is, when you're approaching a city that you are A) 100% certain has civilians in it, and B)100% certain is under rebel control, you don't indiscriminately fire cluster and area denial weapons at the target without disregard to who you hit just "because it's under OpFor control".

      NATO is far from perfect.... it's precision weapons (JDAMs, etc) have blast radii that given the infrastructure ARE going to cause collateral damage. BUT the NATO Equiliviant to what's happening to the rebels would be for a heavy bomber to just fly over Tripoli and carpet bomb the city JUST because there's targets of opportunity.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      And the fact that the rebels are hiding amongst the civilians means nothing either right ? Does the term " human shields " come to mind ?

      May 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • SpottedCat

      Both sides are amongst civilians, and to varying degrees using "human shields" in cowardly attempts, and one reason why it's good that US and NATO forces are hesitant to join the ground war (after all, not even NATO forces are 100% certain what the rebels stand for right now). Therefore, both Loyalist and Rebel factions are equally guilty on the human shield fascet.

      Should the Rebel forces conduct similar area denial shelling, I'm sure the emotional environment for their cause would change drastically and they'd risk losing support. Simultaneously, NATO forces do need to take more care in the deployment of precision munitions. (Even a precision strike in a residential area is a HUGE risk that should be weighed far more cautiously).

      All in all, no one is REALLY sure who's really the 'OpFor' at this point because it's gotten so f'ed up.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      Creates quite a quandry, doesn't it ? The rebels forces have taken to beheading their prisoners.
      doesn't sound very humane to me. So it seems to me if they're going to start trying people, it should be on an equal playing field. SpottedCat, I've got to go now. Thanks for the conversation. Enjoyed it. Talk at you later.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • SpottedCat

      Here's to that Bobcat. Take care yourself as well.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banks

    Here we go again, al-kida and it's like meaning France and NATO are bigger criminals than Gadafi. It was his country we invaded and are attempting to impower crimnals who are well armed to over throw a established government. The crime is why was the US involved in a war for oil that's costing us trillions so France can get the oil from lybia. The bombs that have been dropped have killed thousands but you only report the crimals losses and not the true lybians. What kind of sick joke is this that several countries team up on one because we don't like there leader. Maybe trying NATO in court would be more approperiot. Or let's try France for invading the Ivory Coast. Or try and save Mubarik who surrendered peacfully instead he will get death. Let lybia have it's civil war by itself and not a France installed government . Park the drones and leave them to there own vices. The rebels are well armed because NATO has supplied them.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      thank you banks. Well said.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. nur amabo nur

    Police state in full effect at W I U!!! Riot police use sound weapons, tear gas on college students during annual street party. U tu be ( mass arrests, tear gas, sound weapons, used on W I U students).

    May 4, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. gsysgthartman

    Fascinating side note. Libya is not a signatory to the ICC.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MitchReid

    Gadhafi's forces should succome to those arrest warrants including all involved in the regime. You cannot go after the people trying to stop an uncivilized leader who has been ruthlessly killing and displacing the people of Libya. You do not see NATO bombing Hospitals and and the civilian population, granted you have to take in that in no matter what the situation there will always be the possibility in civillian casualties. The situation could be resolved rather quickly and appropriately if Gadhafi is brought to justice. NATO just needs to help out the rebels from the air and let them take out Gadhafi's regime and let them decide what their government shall become. Let the justice system get Gadhafi if the rebels were to fail from the campaign, so that either way the situation is resolved.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Linari

    Change it up, fake RUFFNUTT. It's getting old. You're stale.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      Are you trying to say Linari,that slaughtering women and children is acceptable as long as it's being done by NATO aircraft? That kind of reasoning is sick at best!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Whizzx

    Well,what I see from my perspective is nothin far from the fact that the US and France have conclusively resolved to topple Gadaffi's regime. But funny thin is, the just don't know how to openly tell the world that "We are sick and tired of Gadaffi", cos from all indications now, It is the west who is seeking regime change and not Libyan People. The so called rebbels in Libya are jst a face to a body wholy made up of the west and their anger towards Gadaffi.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Riff*Raff

    I think it's France & Sarkozy that want to topple Ghadaffi. We have just been asked to pay the piper in return for Iraq. Obama couldnt say no when he saw the killing of civilians. Sarkozy believes the Libyans took out that plane in 09, they are pulling up all of the wreckage hoping to justify their actions against Libya. Maybe the black box(es) will give them that proof. Just my thoughts anyway.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. oscar gu

    desgarrador el panorama de cruentas guerreas todo por tonterias de falsos profetas que se creen Dios

    May 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. guest

    is cnn seriously posting an article about whether or not gadaffi commited war crimes? Didnt we already ask that question before we launched hundreds of missiles at him? comon i want to hear something new

    May 7, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. xyzc

    Where there is no respect for human life that is a crime.

    May 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Doug

    I am all for any excuse for killing Arabs....but my since of fairness over-whelms my lust for dead Arabs. If Nato is holding Libya's Army at bay and not letting them go door to door to kill the enemy and the only weapon that have is non direct shelling....then how can you hold them accountable for killing innocent people?

    Also if Nato can bomb Libian forces and kill innocent people by accident – how come they are not held to the same standard.

    I think the best for all invloved is to let the Libian forces go into the rebel strong holds and then bomb them all...

    This way the Libian forces will be held accountable "on the spot" for killing innocent people....it really is a win/win/win/win.

    A win for Libya – because nato has removed the no flow zone and will let them fight the rebels up close.
    A win for the Rebels – because nato is bombing Libya's army up close.
    A win for the Hague – because Libya's army will be tried, convicted and killed in accordance with smart bomb law.
    A win for Me – More Dead Arabs

    Now we need to apply this same concept with a country which is a real threat to the USA, IRAN.

    May 16, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |